“We have 15 separate initiatives to drive value for our customers and grow market share.”
“We’re putting a much greater emphasis on the forward looking view.”
“Our goal is to be on the offense, not defense.”
Michelle M. Krans has been Senior Vice President of Strategy and Development of US Community Publishing for Gannett Co. Inc. since June 2008. Ms. Krans has been President and Publisher of Lansing State Journal and Vice President of Gannett's Midwest Group since May 2007. Earlier she served as President and Publisher of The Desert Sun Publishing Company of Gannett Co. Inc. from September 22, 2005 to June 2008 and also served as Group Vice President of the Former Pacific.
Gannett is creating a new edge as the company looks to a list of change initiatives to become a better organisation.
Having a strong focus and pursuing a title of being a top sales organisation is something Michelle Krans, senior vice president of strategy at Gannett, said the company is working toward.
“The objective is roughly still the same,” she said. “To make your sales force a competitive distinction.”
With customer satisfaction being a lead in the company’s goals, Krans said Gannett is being helped by its market position: “Because of our dominant position in the marketplace, we are very successful.”
Gannett conducted qualitative and quantitative analysis, including time on the phone with local businesses to discuss their needs. The analysis revealed seven out of 10 businesses believed leadership was not being provided by their media partners.
“Most of the findings were not surprising to us,” Krans said.
Gannett set out with a value proposition to its customers in order to deliver value to customers and shareholders alike. The company used “effective alignment” inside its sales team to help meet expectations from customers.
Along with improving sales, Gannett works to do more: “We’re also a marketing company,” Krans said.
By using targeting e-mails along with display ads, the company is able to help others build their brand and achieve what they set out to accomplish. Gannett is working to improve multiple areas of their company.
“We have 15 separate initiatives to drive value for our customers and grow market share,” she said.
One of these initiatives is pipeline management, where Gannett is spending less time looking into the past: “We’re putting a much greater emphasis on the forward-looking view,” she said.
Gannett is still looking to improve on where it stands, Krans said, showing a graph of where the pipeline is versus where it should be.
“We are nowhere near what pipeline development should be,” she said.
As the sales team spends more time pondering customer needs and less on tracking down revenue, Krans believes Gannett will greatly improve in the next 12 to 18 months.
“Our goal is to be on the offense, not defense,” she said.
Another initiative involves sales training, where Gannett trains sales leaders in more than just product knowledge. Through this orientation, those leaders participate in a digital certification programme.
Pricing is an initiative that helps create value. Through this initiative, Gannett continues to ask themselves questions: “Is it bold and compelling enough?” Krans asked. “Does it give us a competitive advantage?”
Optimisation and account management is an initiative on the company’s list as it works to build customer loyalty and help advertising clients get larger campaigns and help grow revenue.
The final initiative Krans discussed was a marketing restructure. This involves producing solutions for local advertisers in the field of media and marketing and taking a look at marketing work streams.
As Gannett continues to work toward its goals and initiatives, Krans believes the company is moving in the right direction.